Having a good set of knives in your kitchen is the key to culinary success, even for amateur chefs.
And nearly as important as buying the right knives is storing them correctly. Tossing knives into a drawer with other utensils is dangerous for you and damaging to your knife blades.
Read more: These are the three knives you need in your kitchen.
How to store knives correctly
There are three basic ways to store knives. Wall-mounted magnetic strips, drawer inserts and countertop knife blocks.
Each solution is safe for knife storage when used correctly, and the right one for you depends largely on how your kitchen is configured.
One rule is true across all methods, though. The blade’s sharp edge shouldn’t rub the storage unit when inserted or removed and the knife should never rest on its tip. Let’s take a closer look at these three common knife storage methods.
You should always consider the safest knife storage option for your home. If you need to keep knives away from children or even pets, keeping them in a drawer is likely your best option.
But putting knives in a drawer doesn’t mean just tossing them into an empty space. Do that and you run the risk of cutting yourself while reaching in to grab a knife and dulling or damaging the blade.
The solution? Drawer inserts, specially made for knives. With these, each blade gets its own home and the blades are protected from jostling or friction with other utensils.
There are different designs, but it’s a good idea to pick an insert with slots that can fit a range of knife sizes.
When you think of knife storage you probably picture a classic knife block. This is probably the most popular method of knife storage, especially since many knife sets are sold in their own block.
One thing to remember: the knife block that came with your cutlery set will limit you to only those knives. If you ever expand your collection, you’ll need another storage solution.
If you have a large or varied collection of knives, consider a knife block with a center that allows for multiple knife sizes. That includes blocks with plastic or wood rods in the center to flex and meet your needs.
When storing knives in a block, it’s important to slide the knife in by pressing the duller, back side of the blade against the block, to keep the cutting edge sharp.
If you have the space, a magnetic knife strip mounted on the wall above your counter is a great way to store your knives. It looks stylish and it saves counter space, too. Plus, you’ll be able to see each blade. That means you won’t need to remember which blade went where in a drawer or block slot.
Wall-mounted magnetic knife strips come in metal and even wood finishes, so you can pick one that matches your kitchen decor.
Choosing a knife strip with the right strength is important. The magnet should be strong enough to hold the knife but not so strong that it grabs it from your hand, damaging the blade by slapping it onto the strip.
Using a magnetic strip also takes a little bit of technique to protect your blades. When placing a knife onto the strip, be sure the first part that touches the magnet is the blunt back of the blade. This lowers your risk of chipping the sharp edge by hitting it against the strip.
Knife care basics
In addition to choosing a good storage method, you can extend the life of your knives by maintaining them correctly.
One way to care for your cutlery is to sharpen it regularly. Most grocery stores offer this service at the deli counter, some even at no charge. Check your local stores for details.
The other key to knife care is cleaning knives by hand and keeping them out of the dishwasher. Be sure to dry your knives completely before storing, and don’t leave them sitting in the sink.
No matter which storage option you choose, keeping your knives stored correctly will keep them sharper longer and improve the look and functionality of your kitchen.
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